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MBA Rankings 2015: The Top Global Executive MBA Programs — Financial Times

New rankings highlight increasingly global nature of executive training

By  Seb Murray

Mon Oct 19 2015

A mainland Chinese business school has topped the Financial Times Executive MBA Ranking for the first time, while the top five places are dominated by intercontinental programs — highlighting the increasing global nature of executive training.

The joint program — delivered by Tsinghua and INSEAD (Tiemba) — jumped two spots to top the 2015 executive MBA ranking. Its alumni have the second-highest average salaries — $324,000 — and Tiemba is also ranked second for career progression.

The EMBA offered by Kellogg School of the US and Hong Kong’s HKUST takes no 2 in the ranking.

Completing the top-three, the Trium EMBA, a joint venture between HEC Paris of France, London’s LSE and New York’s Stern School, dropped from first to third place.

Meanwhile, 26% of EMBA graduates reported starting their own company during their course or since graduating. This represents a sea change from the traditionally corporate-centric nature of EMBA programs, with many students funded by their employers.

For the fourth year in a row, the top five ranking spots go to the same international programs. The program offered by Columbia and London Business Schools is at no 4; the EMBA at UCLA Anderson and National University Singapore at no 5.

London Business School’s EMBA program is ranked first for international diversity for the second year. The course is divided into two cohorts based in London and Dubai, with students coming from 52 countries.

LBS joins other top UK schools ranked, among them London’s Imperial College Business School, Cass Business School, and Cambridge Judge.

But five schools from five different countries are ranked for the first time this year. Singapore’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business is the highest new entrant at no 35, and Queen’s Smith School of Business of Canada has jumped the highest, climbing 32 spots to no 67.

While joint programs dominate the top of the table, there are notable high-rankings for standalone EMBAs. These include IE and IESE Business Schools of Spain, and CEIBS in China.

The EMBA ranking rates the best 100 programs for senior executives, based on a survey of business schools and their students from the class of 2012. The ranking measures how successful alumni have been in their career, including in terms of salary and seniority.

Students’ main motivations were learning about management, networking, and increasing earnings.

Yet there has been a rise in the number hoping to start their own companies: 17% of graduates rated starting a company as the joint most important reason for enrolling in the program.

At Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, more than 50% of graduates have launched a business. Saïd graduates also have the highest salaries three years after graduating.

This has prompted a shift in the education of executives, with entrepreneurship and other classes now common. Julia Marsh, executive director for leadership programs at LBS, said evolving programs to keep them fresh and relevant “is critical”. 

Christoph Loch, dean of Cambridge Judge, said the school is focusing on “the real-world challenges and opportunities facing business executives in an entrepreneurial environment”. 

More than 90% of the entrepreneurs at all the schools rated their new skills as important in their decision. And three-quarters said that both the school and their alumni network were helpful when launching their start-up.

Some 40% raised equity only from their own savings, or from family and friends.

Yet only 40% of the entrepreneurs derive most of their income from their company, although they tend to earn more than corporate workers — $194,000 compared with $171,000.

To see the full ranking, visit: